The Greatest Trick
By Joshua Patterson, A.K.A. The Kronikler
The greatest trick that the Devil ever pulled
Was deceiving the entire world into believing he didn’t exist.
Into believing that untamable malice can be explained
By a configuration of genes that trace and project disdain.
Into believing that an inclination of gifting gives you elevated priority
Over the standards of your neighbors, and even figures of authority.
Into believing that your recurring lust after possessions
Does not stem from the seductive influence of obsession.
Into believing the seeds of deceit you’ve blown on the current of a spiteful breeze
Are not soon returning full circle, by increments of six degrees.
That extracting vengeance upon those individuals who once oversaw your bounds
Makes your image more appealing, makes your reason more sound.
That the “playful” slights we can transmit in the blink of an eye
Do not nearly echo the true feelings of one in another’s sight.
That the power of a melody and the message it contains
Cannot recalibrate a sober mind into a deviant’s domain.
That we truly find divine devices to be instrumental in our fame
When a pedestal is the only place where we credit the Highest of names.
It’s easy to believe that the angst of public enemies
Stems from personal enmity against defunct societies
From which sadists, dictators and extorting entities
Derive their respective identities, removing all accountability.
But what then are we to say about the blood of the innocent
The abuse and abrasion of the politically impotent
The tears and the cries of those scarred and downtrodden
Their sanity bent and identity sodden
By zealots commissioned to bring desolation
To infidels unfit for assimilation
Into the abhorrent embrace of a nation
That plants seeds of doubt, fear, destruction, impatience
For freedom from traumatic threats of infliction
Of harm upon lives whose trespasses are fiction?
Are you calling society’s anguish justified?
The actions of the perpetrator dignified?
What also is to be said of those peoples so engrossed
In ideologies and opinions predisposed
That they’re driven to mockery without holds
Against constituents of opinions they oppose?
They advocate for the rise of their cause in the names
Of virtuous traits so embellished with fame,
It doesn’t take much to get lost in a noise
That has you so fixed on your power of choice
That you can afford no respect or attention
To perspectives founded on honest dissention.
So, we square-off our valued beliefs
From circles where they are not as well received
And exchange the unity of joint discussion
For the division of dictatorial percussions
That bend many to the rhythm of an -ism
And segregate most with an accusing schism.
In our efforts to move forward, do we take a few steps back
When our behavior rewinds to crimes we first picked up on with our knack
For understanding the timeless laws that determine justice and equality
That endow us with responsibility for maintaining a sense of civility?
When we look down upon contesting parties with condescending eyes
Are we presenting ourselves in some form of more positive light?
Through the pretentious conduct inspired by our resolutions, are we becoming
A people more prejudiced, more selfish, more cunning
Than the supposed perpetrators of resentment we have vowed to defeat
In panels of discussion concentrated with increasing heat?
And finally, let us not dare to forget
Those private, unmentioned offenses that set
Our ethical qualities out of alignment
With virtues that stand as our human assignment
Our tendency to treat our neighbors with heat
In pale efforts to scald their feet from the peaks
Of triumph that few people manage to meet
And those few who get there find that their receipt
For life-changing feats indicates that their “peeps”
Aren’t quite as abundant or sweet as they’d think!
Not to mention those who thrive on contention,
Who feel that words are void of purpose or mission
Unless they’re being used to give one position
Above those whom they engage in verbal collisions.
Alright, so you made your point clear,
But disastrous results emerge from one mouth when it is not preceded by two ears.
Loose verbiage is lethal, but provides no defense
Against a firm argument backed by solid sense,
So before you decide to submit your two cents
Make sure it’s worth more than just mere condiments
That season your shame with a hum-ble-ing flavor
When somebody leaves you with real thoughts to savor!
And then we have people who like to burn bridges
By making it their lifetime goal
To spark division with insurmountable ridges
And digging of the deepest of holes.
If it’s not what they do, it’s what goes undone:
Withholding the honor expected of a son
From a father who, in spite of all odds, won
A future for his family in the face of situations
That greatly threatened their economic preservation.
A father who could not have known of the grudge
Confined in the cold heart of his firstborn, who drudged
In discussing matters that would have seen an early conclusion
Had he shared his heart and not sold it to the confusion
Stirred in his soul from a young age by the coming and going
Of his old man, who sometimes was better at winning the bread than showing
His love for a family he saw every other week,
His care for children who seemed to age quicker than he could think,
Than he could process his divorce from his wife,
His backstabbing by the blade of a corporate knife,
His loss of support and identity as the man of the house
In the eyes of a troubled youth who learned more from his father’s spouse
About serving as the head than the man responsible for leaving
Within his successor much greater things than wounds that are bleeding
Into the fragile, growing bonds that stemmed from a love that began
When two passionate applicants took on its heavy demands
With hopes for positive ends.
So now the son, seeking to avoid further disappointment, further pain,
Ironically subjects his relationship with his family to greater strain,
Breeding a rift somewhat like the one initiated by his father’s neglect
Into his own offspring, who demonstrate a lack of respect
Influenced by his resentful perspectives, which were senselessly dictated
In order to ensure that this revolting hatred is duplicated.
Time can shape such indignation into a feud of generations,
Escalating the grievance of one man into the plight of a nation
To the point where the argument you make now is merely a continuation
Of a debate held in an era that eludes memorization
And your ideas about a group of people you long thought to be your own views
Are actually the property of predecessors who drew their beef from previous stews.
This scenario I’ve illustrated is but one of many possible outcomes
That result when we fail to embrace cold facts with a warm welcome.
To do otherwise is not merely to be complacent as the clock ticks;
To do otherwise is to fall for the greatest trick.